Tatarusanu proves shootout hero for AC Milan in Italian Cup


Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Torino - San Siro, Milan, Italy - January 9, 2021 AC Milan's Rafael Leao scores their first goal REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu celebrated a rare appearance with a penalty save to help his side to a 5-4 shootout victory following a 0-0 draw with Torino in the Italian Cup on Tuesday.

Romanian Tatarusanu saved from Torino’s Tomas Rincon to secure victory for his side and a meeting with either local rivals Inter Milan or Fiorentina in the quarter-finals, with those two sides in action on Wednesday.

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given his first start since a thigh injury ruled him out for six weeks in November, but he was replaced at halftime in what was a low-key return.

After a tame first half in which neither side created much in the way of goalscoring chances, Milan came out with more purpose in the second and might have been 2-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes.

Rafael Leao forced a good save from Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal, before Diogo Dalot should have scored when a rebound fell kindly to him, but his effort skewed onto the post.

Milan substitute goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was red-carded on the bench for dissent on a frustrating night as Brahim Diaz blasted over with the best chance of the second half, before Tatarusanu won the game with his shootout heroics.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Toby Davis)

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